Kendrapara, Jan 9 (LocalWire): Forest officials arrested 18 marine fishermen and seized two trawlers on Wednesday night from the waters near Gahiramatha marine sanctuary in Kendrapara district.
Gahirmatha beach is the largest rookery of Olive Ridley turtles in the world and the government banned all types of fishing for seven months from 1 November to 31 May to save the endangered marine species, Debashis Bhoi the forest range officer of Gahiramatha marine sanctuary, said.
Forest guards have been deployed to arrest fishermen who dare to enter the marine sanctuary areas.
In 1997, the government declared the Gahiramatha marine sanctuary a protected area to save the marine turtles that came in lakhs to Gahiramatha to lay eggs, added the forest officer,
‘We established 16 turtle protection camps including three offshore camps at Agaranashi, Barunei and Babubali islands to protect the sea animals in Gahirmatha marine sanctuary.
The policemen of marine police stations at Kharinashi and Paradip and coast guards are helping the forest officials to prevent illegal fishing this year,’ Bhoi added.
Due to the fishing ban imposed by the authorities, around 4.70 lakh turtles laid eggs from 26 February to 5 March 2019 at the Nasi-1 and Nasi-2 islands within the Gahiramatha marine sanctuary, added the forest officer.